Management Approach

Materiality Rationale

Since its establishment, Sony has sought to remain at the forefront of technological development, building continuously on its achievements to suggest new values for people everywhere. In these efforts, Sony recognizes the people who work at Sony to be its most important resource. Employees are important stakeholders in Sony’s diversified, global business and are the key to its efforts to generate sustainable social value and a high level of profit. Sony is committed to increasing employee engagement by leveraging the diversity and ambitions of its people and maximizing their talents. Sony seeks to sustainably elevate its talent and organizational capabilities in order to raise its overall business performance.

Basic Approach

Sony views employees not as a group, but as individuals. Sony values employee engagement as the key to unleashing the full potential of individual employees with their own strong motivation, autonomy and desire to grow. Sony’s Founding Prospectus sets forth the founders’ vision, stating that Sony employees and workplaces should stress a spirit of freedom and open-mindedness and that Sony should place emphasis on a person’s ability, performance and character, so that each individual can fully exercise his or her abilities and skills. This approach has been passed down unchanged to the present day. The partnership of choice between Sony and each individual employee is defined as one where both parties are accountable for being responsive to the needs of the other. Sony believes that the growth of the individual will lead to growth of the organization and, in turn, to the growth of Sony. Sustainable growth will ensure that employees continue to have opportunities to take on new challenges and grow. Sony’s strength is the diversity of its businesses and employees, and this is what drives Sony’s value creation. For Sony to unify its diverse businesses and employees to create value on a sustainable basis, it is essential that employees strongly sympathize with Sony’s Purpose & Values. Based on the founding vision, Sony has defined “What we offer our people” and “People we look for” to be shared throughout the Group.

“What We Offer Our People” and “People We Look For”

What We Offer Our People People We Look For
  • Power and reach to fill the world with emotion as a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology
  • Innovation-led company, partnering closely with creators and engaging with customers and communities
  • Global brand with career opportunities around the world, across entertainment, electronics and direct to consumer (DTC) services
  • Inclusive culture harnessing the diversity of teams, viewpoints and cultures
  • Inspire people by pioneering the future through dreams and curiosity
  • Pursue the creation of the very best, by harnessing diversity and inclusion
  • Exemplify ethics and responsibility in the interest of Sony’s sustainable business and its growth
  • Think originally as to how to harness opportunities across entertainment, electronics and DTC services

Sony seeks to maximize the talents of each employee and to foster innovation. Sony respects and fosters an inclusive acceptance of diversity in its many forms including race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, beliefs, disability, gender, age, birthplace, sexual orientation, values, and workstyles. Sony’s vision of diversity and inclusion seeks to build an organizational culture that respects diversity and helps create value for customers. Sony’s HR strategic framework has three components: “Attract” (talent acquisition), “Develop” (learning and development), and “Engage” (employee engagement). Under the framework, Sony pursues a broad range of activities, building on a commitment to offering working conditions that contribute to the health and safety of employees.


Senior management meet to discuss and decide upon important matters relating to employees at the Sony Group and guide the HR strategies implemented by Sony Group companies. Sony shares a common HR strategic framework across the group. However, each business is responsible for the independent development and implementation of its own detailed strategies.

Sony has established the Diversity Committee, which reports directly to the CEO, to ensure that diversity & inclusion is addressed as a high-priority issue. Sony also operates reporting hotlines and other avenues for employees to get consultation on a broad range of issues including human rights, work-life balance, parenting, nursing care, and LGBT concerns.

Sony promotes occupational health and safety (OHS) by operating management systems based on OHSAS 18001 at all Sony sites. With the publication of the ISO 45001 international standard for OHS management systems, Sony plans to migrate its OHS management systems to ISO 45001.

Main Achievements in Fiscal 2018

Here are the main results of fiscal 2018 initiatives:

  • ●Diversity & Inclusion
    • - Held Sony Diversity Week around the world for the third consecutive year to raise awareness and promote action for change by enhancing recognition and understanding of the significance of diversity
    • - Sony Life Insurance Co., Ltd. established Sony Life Business Partners Co., Ltd.
    • - Actively employed individuals with disabilities in the electronics business in Asia. Sites in China jointly host job fairs at universities that have many students with disabilities
    • - Conducted an LGBT seminar and workshop for HR managers of Sony Group companies in Japan, and prepared and distributed an LGBT Handbook for HR Staff (basic edition)
    • - Encouraged non-Japanese employees to think about their career path through seminars and panel discussions and interview articles with non-Japanese executives as a role model
  • ●Talent Development
    • - Opened PORT at the head office to realize a concept for new talent development
    • - Carried out Sony University global leadership programs in and outside of Japan (continued from 2000)
    • - Continued operating the Sony Outstanding Engineer Award, the most prestigious personal award for engineers in the Sony Group, and the Distinguished Engineer as a group-wide designation system
    • - At Sony Technology Exchange Fair, a group-wide exchange event for engineers, held seminars and panel discussions chaired by its Distinguished Engineers and Open Innovation Showcase for recipients of investments from the Sony Innovation Fund (SIF).
  • ●Employee Engagement
    • - Facilitated communication between top management (including the CEO) and Sony employees in and outside of Japan (direct dialogue, dispatch of information)
    • - Conducted global employee engagement surveys and held workshop based on results (continued from 2011)
    • - Group companies in the USA and UK in the music business adopted policies to extend the parenting leave if an employee or their spouse gives birth prematurely
    • - Sony Group companies in Japan in the electronics business continued a work-style reform project
    • - Continued to implement initiatives to create attractive workplaces worldwide. Encouraged employees to take on new challenges by providing spaces for open communication and idea generation.
  • ●Occupational Health and Safety
    • - Set Medium-Term Occupational Health and Safety Targets including acquiring external ISO45001 certification and reducing employees' health risks, etc., to enhance global governance.
    • - Continued to conduct audits and risk assessments related OHS


  • 1966:
    Internal job posting program started
  • 1973:
    Sony Technology Exchange Fair started
  • 1978:
    Sony Taiyo Corporation founded
  • 1988:
    Flex-time system introduced
  • 1988:
    Basic Policy and Management System established
  • 1990:
    Parenting leave and flex holiday programs introduced
  • 2000:
    Sony University program started
  • 2008:
    Flexible work (formerly called telework) policy introduced
  • 2011:
    Diversity Committee established
  • 2015:
    Flexible career leave and free agent programs introduced
  • 2017:
    Workstyle reform project started at Sony Group companies in the electronics business in Japan
  • *Items without group or company names refer initiatives of Sony Corporation

Looking to the Future

With a focus on diversity, talent development, and engagement, Sony will continue to offer working conditions that contribute to the health and safety of employees — all part of its efforts to generate sustainable social value and a high level of profit. Sony will provide opportunities for employees to improve and make the most of their character, skills and capabilities.

Activity Reports

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